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[ril] /rɪl/
a small rivulet or brook.
Origin of rill1
1530-40; < Dutch or Low German; compare Frisian ril


[ril] /rɪl/
noun, Astronomy
any of certain long, narrow, straight or sinuous trenches or valleys observed on the surface of the moon.
1885-90; < German Rille; see rill1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for rills
  • In the countryside, tacky taco emporiums are effacing copses and rills and hallowed ground.
  • Tiny rills are quickly carved into the soft mudstone.
  • rills are rather large and deep, so they are difficult to reclaim by simple tillage and they are readily noticeable.
  • rills are small channels formed on the surface of the slope.
  • Photograph of rills and gullies on in blanket of loose, dry ravel material deposited on hillside.
  • rills discharging to ditch that runs along the tracks.
  • Few rills or gullies, gullies up to two inches deep.
  • Fill rills and gullies that occur on the embankments and in the vegetated spillway.
  • Ephemeral gullies and rills present in the planned border area will be eliminated as part of seedbed preparation.
  • Various mechanisms have been suggested to explain the formation of rills.
British Dictionary definitions for rills


a brook or stream; rivulet
a small channel or gulley, such as one formed during soil erosion
Also rille. one of many winding cracks on the moon
Word Origin
C15: from Low German rille; related to Dutch ril
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for rills



"small brook, rivulet," 1530s, from or related to Dutch and Frisian ril, Low German rille "groove, furrow, running stream," probably from Proto-Germanic *ril- (cf. Old English rið, riþe "brook, stream," which survives only in dialects), a diminutive form from PIE root *reie- "to run, flow" (see Rhine).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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